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Popular Local Mental Health Awareness Event Returns June 3rd

WINNIPEG, MB. – If you haven’t heard the news or seen the posters yet, ‘She Wore Flowers in Her Hair’ is returning to Manitoba this coming Saturday.

The mental health awareness event offering live bands, inspirational speakers, yoga sessions, a volleyball tournament, axe throwing, children’s activities and a free lunch will be taking place from 12:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Saturday, June 3rd, at Kelburn Estates, 1293 Kelburn Road.

In its second annual event, ‘She Wore Flowers in Her Hair’ will feature more bands, speakers and activities than the inaugural function. In addition to Bold as Lions, Alone I Walk, and Monica Moss & Ila Barker, five new acts will hit the stage this Saturday, including: Carlyn Graff, Lost Boys, A Few J’s Band, Bro Nouveau and Garrett, Nazeem & Steven.

What began as a small fundraiser for the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba following the passing of 17-year-old Jaedra Winter in June of 2015, has grown into a widely publicized fixture, focusing on mental health awareness throughout the province.

After suffering with mental illness for many years, Jaedra sadly took her own life – a theme that this event is trying to eliminate. With help from family and friends, the 2017 version of ‘She Wore Flowers in Her Hair’ is expected to be a can’t-miss event.

“Jaedra was a beautiful girl, she was athletic, and participated in every sport in school,” said Raven Rautenbach, sister of Jaedra. “She had tons of friends and never was stuck to one group of people. I think the thing that was the hardest for Jaedra was not understanding why she felt the way she did. She also had a really hard time asking for help. Since she died we’ve learned of so many more resources that I wish we had known about before she passed. That’s where our event helps, as it offers many supports and resources that most people don’t know about.”

Each and every speaker/performer at this coming weekend’s gathering will be of the younger age demographic – something that was carefully crafted by the event organizers.

“The thing that I love about this event is that we are really targeting young adults,” said Rautenbach. “I think it is really important to get through to this age group, as bullying, low self-esteem and unhealthy relationships are so prevalent at that age. Being able to connect with that population is so important because the mental health aspect of your personality only keeps evolving and growing from there onward.”

Included in the festivities will be a ‘Mindfulness and Compassion Stage’ – a setting featuring a mindfulness presentation, a mindful massage and yoga activities. Alongside that, Lumberjax Axe Throwing will be another welcomed addition, as the event aims to broaden its horizons in hopes of connecting with as many people as possible. A lunch courtesy of Pony Corral will also be served from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.

As the event draws its focus on the sometimes very sensitive matter of mental health, its aim is to help bring those issues to the forefront, while providing an outlet of support.

“Don’t give up” was the advice that Rautenbach immediately offered when asked what kind of guidance to give someone who may be struggling mentally or battling suicidal thoughts.

“There are a million reasons to give up, but you only need one to keep going, and that one reason is you,” she said. “There are so many people – whether you know it or not – that love you and care for you, and want to help you and support you in your journey. My advice is to reach out and say something, because losing even one person to suicide is too much. When you reach out, you build relationships and find new opportunities. It’s a journey, learning to love ourselves and be our best supporter.”

Tickets for this Saturday’s event can be found at eventbrite.ca. All proceeds will go directly to the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba. For more information on the event, follow @OfficialSheWoreFlowers on Instagram.

– Carter Brooks, MyToba News

Photos by Marina Topnik and Hailey Kupiak

Carter Brooks is a news writer/reporter and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Carter spent time with The Hockey News Magazine in Toronto, and currently writes sports for Game On Magazine and SEVEN Magazine. On top of reading and writing, coaching hockey is his favourite pastime.
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